AuSM’s Advocacy On Subminimum Wage for People with Disabilities

Minnesota’s 2023 legislative session brought historic progress from lawmakers in the ongoing work to eliminate subminimum wage in Minnesota, advocacy that AuSM supports. The Task Force on Subminimum Wages – co-chaired by Jillian Nelson, AuSM’s Community Resource and Policy Advocate – made several funding recommendations for the governor’s bill. Nearly all the task force’s recommendations passed – except for establishing an exact sunset date for subminimum wage in Minnesota, which advocates continue to work toward. Not insignificantly, this bill establishes the major objectives recommended by the task force, including funding to track employment outcomes by reporting on people being paid subminimum wage.

Also, a Technical Assistance Center was established to assist providers to transition away from subminimum wage employment. Lead agencies will get grants to build capacity in supporting people with competitive integrated employment options. Funding also will go toward training for case managers, and changes to the MnCHOICES assessment to ensure people are offered true, informed choices in employment and services.

In October, AuSM’s Jillian Nelson was interviewed in the subject of subminimum wage by Judy Woodruff for this PBS Newshour story as part of the Newshour’s Disability Reframed series.

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